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YLS student Nabiha Syed ’10 Named Marshall Scholar

Third-year Yale Law School student Nabiha Syed ’10 has been honored with a Marshall Scholarship for 2010. Marshall Scholarships finance intellectually outstanding young Americans to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 Scholars are selected each year to attend a UK institution in any graduate level field of study. Syed plans to do a one-year research degree at Oxford in Comparative Media Law and Policy.

“It's sort of a cliché, said Syed, “that democracies can only function when there is the rule of law and a free press; luckily, this particular cliché has some truth. I want to explore how societies build and nourish the specific mechanisms—whether they be freedom of information laws, technological developments, or constitutional amendments—that foment an informed citizenry and what Amartya Sen calls ‘government by discussion.’”

Syed is a Knight Law and Media Scholar and a student fellow of the Information Society Project. Through these programs, she co-founded the Media Freedom and Information Access Practicum. She is also a member of the Balancing Civil Liberties and National Security after 9/11 Clinic and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. She is a submissions editor for the Yale Law and Policy Review and the senior editor of its forthcoming online magazine, Inter Alia, as well as a chair of the Muslim Law Students’ Association. Syed has been elected to serve as a student class representative for all three of her years at Yale Law School.

She earned a B.A. with high honors in International Relations and Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. There she received the Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Thesis Award and the Second Decade Society Award for student leadership. She was also named a Ripon-Clinger Scholar. While at Johns Hopkins, Syed wrote her first book, Replicating Dreams, on Grameen-style microfinance in Pakistan.

Two Yale College seniors also received Marshall Scholarships. James Luccarelli, who will graduate in May with a B.S. and an M.S. in chemistry, plans to pursue a bachelor of philosophy in chemistry at Oxford. And Anna Jo Bodurtha Smith, who will graduate in May with a B.A. in sociology, plans to study public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and then pursue a master’s in public policy and administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and they express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.